The Sovereignty of Native Peoples

Article excerpt


I am an American Indian, and I do not support gambling, but I must respond to Rich Lowry's opinion piece on Tuesday, "The Indian scam." Mr. Lowry states, "It's time to ... recognize the tribes for what they are: ... sleaze merchants and scam artists." When I was growing up, I was taught that broadly disparaging any group was racist. An individual may do evil things, but that does not mean that all people of his race or nationality are therefore evil. Somehow, in this age of political correctness, Mr. Lowry has missed this point. Call me naive, but I am rather taken aback to see such an immoral stance from an editor at National Review. Conservatives are supposed to stand for morality.

Mr. Lowry also attacks the sovereignty of native peoples. He is never specific as to why he believes native sovereignty to be a fiction, but seems to imply it is because some tribes have so few members. He fails to realize that the wonder is that any native people survived the barbarian invasion. In fact, some tribes are extinct, a level of eugenics Adolf Hitler only dreamed of, but the U.S. government accomplished. Of course, some tribes have just a few members left after centuries of slaughter, oppression and foreign disease brought by invaders who thought bathing was unhealthy.

The falseness of the argument that numbers relate to national sovereignty may be more obvious when put in terms of Mr. Lowry's culture. Fertility rates across Western nations are falling precipitously. Some predict that within 100 years there will be fewer English in England than Indians (from India) and other groups. When the time comes that there are just a few English left, should other nations disdain their sovereignty? Should India be free to invade and do as it pleases with those English who are left? If the answer is no, why then is native sovereignty fiction? …